Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC: $104 Million Trial Win for Versata Software, Inc.


HOUSTON, Oct. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Versata Software, Inc. won a $104.65 million jury verdict against Ford Motor Co. in Michigan federal court, the law firm Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC said today. After a 15-day trial, the jury found that Ford misused Versata’s proprietary computer software system and breached a 15-year contract to avoid paying millions of dollars in licensing fees.

Versata is represented by Steven J. Mitby, Timothy Johnson and Drew Kim, of Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC, of Houston, along with Dan K. Webb, Matthew R. Carter and Brian Nisbet, of Winston & Strawn LLP, Jaye Quadrozzi, of Young Garcia & Quadrozzi PC, and Sharoon Saleem and Jennifer Trillsch, of Jones & Spross PLLC.

The verdict, which is believed to be the largest trade secret verdict in Michigan history, vindicates Versata for its development of one of the most innovative software products used in the automotive industry. The software, Automotive Configuration Manager, refines complex design and logistical processes in the manufacture of vehicles. Ford was accused of stealing Versata’s intellectual property to create a replacement software, according to the lawsuit.

Steven J. Mitby said, “Our team met challenges of the case inside and outside the courtroom. In trial, we presented crucial technical witnesses for Versata and cross-examined Ford’s key witnesses, including Ford’s corporate representative and main technical expert. Our cross of Ford’s expert witness was so effective that Ford’s counsel did not mention his testimony in closing arguments. We also prevailed in Ford’s world-headquarters home venue – just blocks from the Ford Field NFL stadium.”

Mitby added, “Our client, Versata, deserves tremendous credit for working so hard for more than seven years to achieve this victory. We are grateful for the confidence of Lance Jones

, Versata’s general counsel, as our team pursued this case in recent years, and for his support during a decade of collaboration.”

Timothy Johnson said, “This win also provides our new firm with strong momentum. We are proud of our lawyers and paralegals who strive to provide extraordinary service to our clients — and big wins.”

The case is Versata Software Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., Case No. 2:15-cv-10628, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

About Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC

Founded by Steven J. Mitby, Debbie Pacholder, and Timothy Johnson, Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC combines the depth of seasoned commercial trial lawyers, licensed patent attorneys and an award-winning general counsel to attack complicated legal issues and business disputes head-on. Our experience and our wins span the energy, oil and gas, healthcare, and construction industries. Whether in trial or in negotiations, our lawyers care about winning as much as you do. We focus on business litigation, intellectual property, commercial arbitration, labor and employment, and appellate matters. More information is available at mitbylaw.com.

Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Mitby Pacholder Johnson PLLC, 281.703.6000, info@powersmediaworks.com.

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